Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dancey Rumblings

Yes, this is another one of those posts about dance. I think they are increasing in frequency coz I'm missing dance so much! I've just been cooped up at home studying for the upcoming entrance exams and I barely have any social life left. I gave up the job offer too and haven't found the time to re-join aerobics and contemporary dance class. I'm just living my life vicariously through So you think you can Dance and Dance India Dance...

From as long back as I can remember, I've been extremely fond of Latin American styles of couple dancing. There is something so stylish and sexy in these dance forms that I literally salivate at the thought of going to a Salsa party or joining a class. After all the classes that I've been through, I think I just about know the quick-quick-slow pace of Salsa. When I watch So you think you can dance, I am just amazed by the way those participants dance. Most dancers, when they're learning, specialize in one particular form of dance. Some specialize in contemporary, while others might enjoy hip hop. However, in SYTYCD (long shortform!), the contestants have to pick up a new style practically within a week! When its time to perform, most often than not they dance so well that you cannot believe that they've adapted to the new style in a week. I believe that must be the mark of a real dancer. Initially while learning a particular form, we learn certain mannerisms of the dance, certain characteristics. However, as beginners, we associate those mannerisms with dancing itself. Once you learn to separate the style from dance, it becomes easier to learn other dance forms. 

Case in point being, people who learn classical dance are at times very stiff while performing simple Bollywood steps. While on the topic, in a recent episode of So you think, a couple was expected to perform Bollywood. When I saw their costumes, I was thoroughly prepared to be disappointed. The costumes looked like some weird 80s stuff! However, I must admit, they did a fabulous job. It was more based on classical than conventional jhatka matkas of Bollywood, but even then they managed to pull it off remarkably well. I must say I felt very proud that Bollywood was a part of So you think and they hadn't made it some floozy dance but had actually used some very difficult steps! Apparently there was one in the previous season too which was even more magical than this one. I need to look for that on youtube...

Coming to Dance India Dance, I think it is one of the best Indian dance shows. However I would maintain that Boogie Woogie will remain my favorite. In Dance India Dance, although the dance forms are comparable to say So you think (hip hop, salsa, bee-boying), the level of dancing isn't. No doubt the contestants are very capable but somewhere or the other small nuances are missed because of which the whole thing looks wobbly and not well practised. It is especially scary when they perform stunts. A couple of times they haven't worked out as planned and that kind of makes the show go flop because the choreographers should have ensured that the participant will be able to perform that stunt. I believe, it is better to do an easy dance elegantly than to do a difficult dance clumsily.

I also watch Marathi dance show Eka Peksha Ek which till recently I held in high esteem. The contestants were genuinely talented and the decisions regarding winners always seemed fair. However, since the celebrity competition started, I have kind of lost interest in it. Even so, it is watchable because of some very unique dance styles that I have never seen before. Sometimes the story behind a performance touches you much more than the moves and choreographers in EPE have used their imagination quite a bit. However, to regain its lost glory I believe they should get more judges and try to widen the spectrum of the contest.

So, basically, my dancing shoes are gathering dust, and I am becoming obese day-by-day. Salsa party anyone?

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